On Fixing the Watchdog: Legislative Proposals to Improve and Enhance the SEC

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Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Frank, and Members of the Committee, for inviting me to appear today at your hearing. It is an honor and privilege for me to provide information for your deliberations regarding organizational issues at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

I come before you today as a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, as well as a former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission and a former member of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the TARP.

I would like to begin by congratulating this Committee for taking up the issue of improving and enhancing the SEC. I have had the privilege of working at the SEC a total of ten years, first as a staffer in two chairmen’s offices and then as a commissioner under three chairmen. In that time the SEC has grown from an agency of approximately $170 million to the current budget of more than $1 billion.

Paul S. Atkins is a visiting scholar at AEI.

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About the Author

 

Paul S.
Atkins
  • A commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 2002 to 2008, Paul Atkins is known for advocating for better transparency and consistency in the SEC's decision-making and enforcement activities, as well as for smarter regulation that considers costs and benefits. He represented the SEC at various meetings of the President's Working Group on Financial Markets and international bodies, including the Transatlantic Economic Council, Transatlantic Business Dialogue, World Economic Forum (Davos), and the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum. Prior to his appointment to the SEC, he was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked on regulatory compliance, internal controls, and risk-management issues for financial services firms. A lawyer by training, Atkins also represented U.S. and foreign clients on corporate finance and business combination transactions while at Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he spent a number of years in the firm's Paris office. He was admitted as conseil juridique in France in 1988. At AEI, Atkins works on issues related to U.S. and international regulation of the financial services industry.
  • Email: paul.atkins@aei.org

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